A 34-year-old caterer has been remanded to prison in Guyana for trafficking four Venezuelan women for sexual exploitation.
SENIOR Magistrate Leron Daly on Wednesday issued orders for the remanded, according to the state-owned Guyana Chronicle.
The newspaper reported that Fiona Hopkinson pleaded not guilty to the four charges which alleged that, during the months of September and October 2018, she trafficked four Venezuelan women for sexual exploitation at the Diamond Hotel and Night Club on George Street, Werk-en-Rust.
Hopkinson was also charged for unlawfully withholding one of the women’s identification card for the purpose of sexual exploitation during the months of September and October 2018.
She denied the charge.
According to the Chronicle, Prosecutor, Corporal Sanj Singh, strongly objected to Hopkinson being granted bail, on the grounds that the defendant, along with another, was charged earlier in 2018, for trafficking five Venezuelan women at the said hotel and is currently on trial for those offences before the same court.
According to reports, on November 3, 2018, the four Venezuelan women were intercepted by police at a road block and were taken to the Criminal Investigation Department after they failed to produce their identification cards.
It is alleged that the women, while being questioned by the police, confessed that they were in need of work and Hopkinson had transported them from Venezuela to work as prostitutes at Club Diamond.
The women explained that Hopkinson took away their identification cards and told them that same would be returned when a debt of US$600, which represents travel expenses from Venezuela to Guyana, is cleared.
The Magistrate, after listening to the prosecution’s objection, remanded Hopkinson to prison until February 6, 2019.